Airways Hotel, Port Moresby
On Jackson Parade, two minutes by car from Jacksons International Airport.
The Airways Hotel has been visited by 23 prime ministers, royalty and business leaders. Refined decor, attentive service, four restaurants, and the Bliss day spa, with Thai styling, make it an oasis where you want to be. Airways is possibly one of the best airport hotels anywhere in the Asia– Pacific region. Although it opened almost three decades ago, it is fresh and contemporary thanks to multiple rejuvenations and new additions. There are 40 gardeners who look after the botanic-like gardens that have more than 240 species of tropical plants, as well as a quirky DC3 aircraft that creates an outdoor centrepiece. The expansive grounds, with running track, are well secured. There’s a fitness centre with squash courts, steam rooms, a floodlit tennis court and a 20-metre infinity lap pool. There’s also a pool with sun lounges and food and drink service. Many of the recreational areas, restaurants and rooms have views towards the airport and the Owen Stanley Ranges. There are flourishes of PNG art and craft around the hotel, which also has an art and craft shop, a technology shop (where you can get local SIM cards) and a tailor. There are four boardrooms for business meetings.
The room styles include Bacchus (the entry level), Fountain, and Dakota (five stars). The spacious Dakota rooms (pictured) have beautiful polished floorboards, Nespresso coffee machines, marble bathrooms and balconies. The Dakota Wing includes three elegant lounges, one with a full-size snooker table. The more basic Bacchus and Fountain rooms are also well appointed with the essentials, and even have turn-down service.
FOOD AND DRINKS
There are four tasteful choices: Seven Cs cafe; Deli C and Vespa Room, which is a blend of Italian bistro and delicatessen; the poolside Vue Restaurant and Lounge Bar, which lives up to its name with great views and buffets (it’s where breakfast is served); and Bacchus, the hotel’s elegant-dining restaurant. Bacchus, with a new menu, is not only the best place to eat at the hotel, but lays claim to being the best in Port Moresby. Amongst white tablecloths, ceiling fans and a piano player, waiters deliver classics such as lobster bisque, top-score Kobe wagyu steak, and crepe suzettes cooked at your table. Afterwards, adjourn to the leather chairs and dark wood panelling of the Havanaba, with a choice of Cuban cigars and the largest selection of whiskeys and vodkas in Port Moresby. — ROBERT UPE